Accessibility Guidebook for Outdoor Recreation and Trails

Janet Zeller—Accessibility Program Manager, USDA Forest Service
Ruth Doyle—Forest Landscape Architect, Santa Fe National Forest
Kathleen Snodgrass—Project Leader

Table of Contents

Photo of an adult and a young child walking on a trail through a forested area. The man is using a cane to search the edge of the trail.

This document is intended to help Forest Service personnel apply the Forest Service Outdoor Recreation Accessibility Guidelines and Forest Service Trail Accessibility Guidelines. These guidelines only apply within National Forest System boundaries. Both are based on the draft accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas created by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board).

When the Access Board finalizes its accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas, the Forest Service will revise the Forest Service Outdoor Recreation Accessibility Guidelines and the Forest Service Trail Accessibility Guidelines to incorporate the Access Board’s standards, where those provisions are a higher standard, as supplemented by the Forest Service. The supplementation will ensure the agency’s application of equivalent or higher guidelines and universal design, as well as consistent use of agency terminology and processes.

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This document was produced in cooperation with the Recreational Trails Program of the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation.

This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The United States Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof.

The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the Department of Transportation.

This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturer’s names appear herein only because they are considered essential to the object of this document.



The Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), has developed this information for the guidance of its employees, its contractors, and its cooperating Federal and State agencies, and is not responsible for the interpretation or use of this information by anyone except its own employees. The use of trade, firm, or corporation names in this document is for the information and convenience of the reader, and does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382(TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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